oh so shiny

If you tell me to eat a food because it’s good for me, I will probably attempt to eat more of it. Unless it doesn’t taste good, then I’ll probably not eat it.

Here’s what I have learned, if you tell me something will make my hair shinier and healthier, I will find a way to consume it regardless of taste (I usually blend up the foods I don’t particularly like into a smoothie to mask the taste). As a curly/frizzy haired lady who applies a lot of heat to her hair, I’m always looking to keep things shiny and defrizzed.

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Here are things I have consumed for shiny hair:

  • Kale
  • Fish oil (important to find the one that doesn’t give you fish burps)
  • Fish
  • Broccoli
  • Various nuts
  • Eggs
  • Poultry
  • Skim milk
  • Greek yogurt
  • Whole grain bread
  • Pregnancy vitamins

Granted, many of these foods I eat because they are tasty and I genuinely like them. And of course I want to reap the other health benefits, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I mainly wanted a natural way to make my hair shiny.

I think the weirdest one is the pregnancy vitamins (just buy your usual brand, but the ones made for expectant moms). They have more zinc and folic acid, both which help your hair become shinier. It’s a bonus if you ever find yourself pregnant unexpectedly because your kid isn’t lacking the nutrients for however long it takes for you to figure out you’re knocked up.

Bonus tip: Use coconut oil as a leave in treatment instead of buying the expensive stuff from your salon. Just apply to your hair (if you have the solid stuff just warm it up in your hands and spread on), concentrating on the ends. Leave on at least 20 minutes, I like to wrap my hair in a towel while waiting to warm it up if I’m only leaving it for 20, then shampoo and condition as usual. Depending on how much you use, you may need to shampoo twice before conditioning.

In the name of beauty I have gone to the gym with the oil in my hair (all ladies gym ftw!) and walked the dog. I also like to put it in before starting my house cleaning so when I finish hours later (I’m a fan of procrastination), it’s had a deep soak.

Any other tips for someone who may need to add a little shine to their hair?

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Pins I’ve Pinned

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The other day a male coworker saw that I was on Pinterest and asked me what it was all about. He had heard of it, but being a guy hadn’t tried it out since it tends to be geared towards the ladies.

I proceeded to go to my page and immediately realized how stupid the whole thing was.

I tend to go through phases, I’ll pin a lot and then I’ll only browse the site every other week. I mainly do it if I’m bored at work and there’s nothing happening on Twitter, Buzzfeed or Facebook. This was the first time I tried to explain to someone else what the whole purpose was and I couldn’t really justify spending time collecting all of these pins.

It’s almost the same as cultivating a beautiful vegetable garden on Farmville and never reaping the benefits of the onions, peppers or pumpkins I’ve grown (I have a recipe pinned that could use all of those ingredients!).

I’ve pinned a lot of stuff, but most of it I will never use or own. I have about 35 boards on Pinterest, many of them for clothes I’ll never afford or shoes that would cost a couple months rent. Sure it’s nice to look at the pretty things, but I felt ridiculous trying to explain the point to my coworker because it’s not like I sit and stare at my previous pins of gowns and coats. I pin them and never look back.

Crafts are another thing I tend to pin, sometimes I’ll buy the supplies to do them, and then I lose interest or attempt them and fail. Or I wont read the instructions upon pinning them and then when I do right before I attempt to do it I know that I would never be able to execute all 37 steps.

That’s not to say I haven’t pinned things that have come in handy, it’s just hard to explain why I need to pin inspirational quotes or nail art. I love my board with hair inspiration, on bad hair days that would normally call for my hair to be piled into a messy bun I’ve found some great ideas for cute updos that get compliments from others. When I went in to change my hair up in December I look through and pinned many (many) Alexa Chung photos for inspiration of my long ombre-bob.  And when I moved into my new place and wanted to get rid of the dirty white walls it was Pinterest that inspired me to choose a greyish-blue hue that I love.

What I’ve really found to be the best pins are the recipes and household hints. Anytime I’m find a recipe that this picky person thinks she would like I pin it and then later when I’m looking for dinner ideas I have helpful photos to remind me. In the past I’ve tried keeping a folder in my bookmarks for recipes, but I think it’s the visual on Pinterest that draws me in.

One of the most recent Pins that I’ve found most useful is the one for spinach ice cubes. I tend to buy my spinach in bags or plastic containers and although I’ll try to add it to everything (mostly shakes though) I always end up with too much and have to throw some out when it goes bad.

Not anymore.

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The other day I found this just as my latest spinach purchase was about to expire, so I got out my blender and froze them into ice cube trays. Use them for smoothies as you would your frozen berries or ice cubes.

Other things I’ve Pinned and enjoyed include:

I mean, clearly the website has it’s purpose, it’s just a purpose that is hard to justify or explain. Or maybe I shouldn’t have to explain what makes me happy to a boy who just wont get it.

Leave your comment: After 1+ years in existence, does Pinterest still appeal to you? What’s your favourite things to pin? What’s your Pinterest page?

Follow my pins at jen_jennifer

Curl Girl

Debra Messing- Love her curls, love the colour

It’s the ultimate paradox in life: curly-haired girls would love to have straight hair, whereas straight-haired ladies would kill for some sort of wave in their strands.

I’m one of those curly-haired kids who has tortured my hair endlessly with straightening irons and blow dryers. It has taken a long time for me to love my curly hair, in fact most days our relationship is classified as “love-hate.” Mostly others love it (and touch it, why must everyone feel it’s ok to caress the curls? That brings on the frizz!), I do love it in the morning, but by the evening I’m reaching for elastics to pile it on top of my head.

Growing up I didn’t have the head of curls that I have now, in fact until it was decided before I began grade 7 that I should get a perm my hair was straight. You know the perm, so many girls had it in the early 90’s, it was reminiscent of Mariah Carey at the time. I’d show pictures, but that along with my teeth pre-braces and horribly big glasses, I’ve destroyed all evidence of that time in my life. After realizing that perhaps the perm wasn’t the best look for me (almost immediately) I slowly started the growing out and then chopping off process to get rid of the perm. Much to my horror, the re- growth had come in curly as well. Hairdressers blamed it on the teenage hormones coursing through my body, apparently your hair type changes a few times throughout your life.

I’m still waiting for it to change back.

After 15 years of dealing with the curl (not going to lie, admitting that 15 years has passed made me gasp a little) I think I’m starting to figure this mass of hair out. Living in Vancouver has only made the mission to love my hair harder. Humidity and moisture in the air makes frizz a constant battle whether I’ve spent hours painstakingly making it smooth or spent just as long perfecting the ringlets only to step outside and have all my hard work ruined by the ever-present Vancouver rain.

At this point I’m finally giving up and just deciding to work with the curls I have, it seems that slightly frizzy curls are at least easier to salvage than completely frizzy no- longer straightened hair.  I think I have finally come up with a process that doesn’t make me completely hate how I look with curls and I thought I’d share it for anyone who suffers from curls.  Hopefully this will help them in their quest for acceptable curls before they give up more than half of their life trying to find success.

1 ) The first step is the washing, some people will swear by curl enhancing shampoos, myself not so much. As long as you’re using something that is clarifying, meaning that it’s cleaning the strands really well, you’re leaving no build up of product on your hair and not weighing the curls down.

2 ) A huge change I’ve made is that I don’t use a towel to dry my hair anymore.  I read somewhere about how bad the terrycloth is on the hair follicle and it was recommended to use a t-shirt. I was skeptical, but it has really cut down on my frizz. Just wrap your head in a shirt as you would the towel, it soaks up much more water and doesn’t damage the hair.

3 ) Next is leave in conditioner, I recently began using Aveda’s Damage Remedy: Daily Hair Repair and I cannot say enough good things about this product. You use it when you’re combing your hair out after the shower. Add it before you straighten or leave it to air dry. It has done wonders to lower the amount of split ends on my head. It works so good sometimes that if I’m washing my hair at night, I’ll put it in my hair and air dry as I sleep; I wake up in the morning with the best looking loose curls.

4 ) If you are going to be washing and drying in one shot instead of my lazy bed head method above I recommend using the Aveda and then Bumble and Bumble Curl Conscious: Defining Cream (I use for fine curls, they make it for course/tight curls as well). Only use the suggested dime size drop though, I’ve used more thinking my thick hair needed more, but I ended up with too much product. Bumble and Bumble also makes a spray called Curl Conscious for All Curls: Reactivating Mist that you use mid-day or after sleeping on your curls that helps perk them up. Of all the curl-enhancing products I’ve used, and trust me there have been many, Bumble and Bumble has been the best, hands down.

5 ) It’s my firm belief that blow driers are the root of all frizz (and split ends), but sometimes they are required. If you have to blow dry, I suggest doing it only briefly after air drying as much as possible and stopping before it’s completely dry.

6 ) Finally, DO NOT, under any circumstance touch the curls. Swat away the people that want to touch your beautiful curls. Fingers = frizz. If you have to put your hair up only to take it down later, use a big clip elastics will only ruin your ringlets.

I do realize that some of the products I’ve listed can be pricey, but trust me when I say use a dime-sized amount. The bottles are pretty large so they go a long way and generally you’re not re-purchasing that often.  If you want something a little more economical, then I recommend the John Frieda Frizz-Ease line, especially the Dream Curls spray.